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Nightmare Fuel / Steven Universe Season 2

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Full Disclosure
  • Seeing Greg's reaction when Steven tells him what just happened can be a little tough to watch. The way he's breathing so heavily and clutching his chest, it looks like he's having a heart attack (or at least a panic attack).

Open Book

  • The way that the room-generated Connie starts acting progressively less and less like Connie and more like the people the room made when it generated all of Beach City in "Rose's Room" is something pulled straight from the Uncanny Valley, but it really goes nuts when she basically suffers a Logic Bomb and locks up.
    "I want... what you want... what you WANT-WANT-WANT-WANT-WANT-WANT-WANT-"
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  • Room!Connie in general after Steven figures out that she's not real. She starts chasing him, she can't be dismissed, she can't be destroyed because she's Made of Air, and it culminates when she pins Steven down and forces him to tell Connie his feelings... about the ending.
  • At the opening of the fight between Room!Connie and Connie, she chopped the copy of herself across the waist and seemingly killed it. That's right, this show just had a person kill a copy of themself (although thankfully Connie seems no worse for the mental wear after the fight.)

Joy Ride

  • Steven was less than a foot away from being A) smashed around Peridot's pod and potentially seriously injured, or B) getting punched into outer space by Garnet. Thank God Jenny was able to tell them in time, or that could've been the last they ever, EVER saw of Steven.
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Say Uncle
  • When Pizza Steve shows up dressed like Steven, Amethyst eats him! It's offscreen, but her pulling his sunglasses out of her mouth dispels any doubt about what happened.
  • Specifically Pearl goes totally insane in this episode, not being able to take any of the events well. By the point that Pizza Steve appears, she is a wreck who just screams, with her visual appearance turning her into a caricature. Seeing how well-composed Pearl usually is, this really borders on deeply unsettling. Similar to the entry in YMMV, you can either find it funny or absolutely disturbing.

Reformed

  • The Slinker. Besides the fact that it's been creeping around the temple for who knows how long, and it repeatedly manages to force Amethyst back into her gem.
  • The Body Horror from Amethyst's rushed regenerations, especially the last one, which has incredibly muscular limbs of unequal size. It gets even more disturbing when it starts breaking down.
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Sworn To The Sword

  • Throughout her time training Connie, Pearl seems to be gradually losing her mental stability since reminiscing on fighting alongside Rose Quartz and guarding an incoming strike designated for Rose. Near the episode's climax, during her argument with Steven about his importance to her, Pearl completely snaps and drops a Wham Line which comes off as an episode of PTSD.
    Pearl: WHY WON'T YOU JUST LET ME DO THIS FOR YOU, ROSE?!
  • There's something downright eerie about how quickly Pearl manages to convince Connie to give up herself for her "liege" Steven. She doesn't even realize at first why Steven might be uncomfortable with the concept.
    Connie: No Steven, I understand now! Your legacy, your destiny... you are everything! And I am nothing.
    • Made even worse by the fact that Pearl was inadvertently playing on Connie's existing worries. Connie was already insecure about being "normal" compared to Steven and his magical world, and Steven is literally the only thing she deeply cares about since he is her only friend. Then Pearl feeds and twists her insecurities, turning a girl Steven's age into a child soldier that's willing to die for him.

Keeping It Together

  • The shard Fusions are more or less dead bodies forced to be artificially fused after they've been shattered, ala Frankenstein's monster. Also Garnet says that all of them were Crystal Gems.
  • They also look pretty disturbing, especially the last one we see. They wouldn't be out of place in a Cyriak animation.
  • And if the appearance alone of these shard Fusions isn't enough to give you nightmares, you also get to hear the shrieks and cries of what are likely the voices of the Gems themselves.
  • The fact that they committed what was essentially graverobbing, desecration, and necromancy all in the name of petty revenge shows just how twisted Homeworld was and is.
  • It's worth noting that, besides grabbing Garnet, the Fusion is not violent, like other Monster Gems. Garnet recognized that they were former Crystal Gems. It seems like that Fusion had enough sapience to recognize their former teammate, as well, but was too monstrously formed to actually communicate with her.
  • When the Fusion starts to form, before it completely materializes, it takes on a form that has four vaguely humanoid silhouettes sticking out of it... and it makes a sound like faint screaming. Not only does the Fusion have some form of sapience, but it's aware of what's happening to it.
  • The dissonant, halting track that plays during the sequence with the Cluster Prototypes is nothing short of pure nightmare fuel. Just listen to it for yourself. It's the accompanying music for each individual Gem that's been forced together mixing completely unevenly. Unlike true Fusions, whose music syncs up at least somewhat, these Gems are constantly trying to be on their own, overlapping in a horrible mess of sounds. They're in so much pain, anger, and confusion that they can only get one single note out in harmony.

Chille Tid

  • Lapis is still in control of Malachite, but just barely. How long until Jasper manages to take over? What's worse, Garnet implies that due to the two fighting each other yet remaining Fused, something that isn't normally supposed to happen, the resulting anger and hatred will build up inside Malachite until it explodes into something even worse.
  • Jasper hasn't taken her imprisonment well. When we briefly see her, she seems to have suffered some Sanity Slippage, and when she sees Steven, she just says "You!" repeatedly before Lapis regains control.
  • Lapis saying "No! I'm not Lapis anymore. We're Malachite now.", and the subsequent appearance of the Fusion in the dream.
    • The score of that scene is even darker than Malachite's first Fusion theme, being a clash of Jasper's jagged synths and Lapis's melancholy theme, and even has moments of the Harsh Noise genre.
    • Malachite has this blank, wide-eyed stare, slowly turns her face towards Steven and just gives off this shout. Somehow, jump-cutting in the middle of that shout to Steven waking up makes it even more terrifying.
  • Lapis' first appearance in Steven's dream has her staring directly at the camera as water gushes from her eye sockets and mouth, flooding the room Steven is in.

Cry For Help

Onion Friend

  • At one point Onion seemingly has Steven feed a mouse to his pet snake. At the end of the episode however, the mouse pops up, out of Onion's mouth.
  • Onion in general has a number of Creepy Child moments, like when he showed Steven the tape of his birth.
    • He licks a potato statue from Steven.
    • When Sour Cream starts disrupting the electricity with his music, Onion just stares at Steven, making the scene look like straight out of a horror flick.
    • his gigantic teddy bear is destroyed. It looks like it was slit open with a knife...

Friend Ship

Nightmare Hospital

  • The entire sequence of Dr. Maheswaran examining her patient. We're told it's supposedly a car accident victim, but it keeps rustling and moaning beneath the covers, completely hidden save for a pale-colored arm. Then she finds it doesn't even have a heartbeat. It's not long after this that we learn it's no car accident victim...
  • The scene of Steven, Connie and her mom running into the "patients" in the pitch-dark hospital hallways at night look like they're lifted straight out of a horror flick. Connie's mom even says her work at the hospital was lifted straight out of a nightmare.

Catch and Release

  • At the beginning of the episode Peridot basically kidnaps Steven from his bed. Now imagine being one of the Crystal Gems going to check on Steven, only to find that he's gone.
  • When Peridot is unbubbled and notices the bubbled Gems, she asks, terrified, "You're going to harvest me?!" This implies Homeworld might seriously be into experimenting on their own Gems soldiers/citizens.
  • Why is Peridot so eager to leave Earth? Well, it seems the planet's been awaiting destruction for thousands of years. The Cluster which still seems to be dormant for now will hatch very soon. And when it does, it's strongly suggested to be capable of killing every living thing on the planet. That thing in "Keeping It Together"? That's nothing.

When It Rains

  • And now we know what The Cluster is; It's one giant Fusion experiment incubating at the center of the Earth. And when it emerges? It'll be bigger than EARTH ITSELF. Put simply: Earth is the shell and the Cluster is the chick. And Peridot says that it's made of millions of Gem shards. MILLIONS. If the And I Must Scream quality of the Fusion experiments weren't bad enough, now we have The Cluster.
  • Steven and Peridot end up being cornered by a Gem mutant while inside Steven's bubble shield. As Steven is trying his best to hold the thing back, its under belly suddenly opens up to reveal a single eye ball that stares right at Steven. What makes it worse is that Steven only has defensive abilities. He can protect himself, but he can't fight back. And Peridot seems to be absolutely harmless without her Artificial Limbs, with no way to fight or defend herself. Good thing the Gems appeared when they did.

The Answer

  • Ruby saves Sapphire and accidentally Fuses with her in the process. Blue Diamond promptly orders her gem to be destroyed, because Gems are only supposed to fuse with their own kind, and not only Fused with another Gem, she fused with a Gem of a higher class.
  • Sapphire seemed very cool about her possible death even if she knew that she would survive since before she joined Rose could only see one possible outcome.
  • The fact that Blue Diamond was willing to let Sapphire, a high-ranking Gem and a member of her court, be "poofed" (i.e. killed) for the sake of fulfilling a prophecy made by Sapphire herself sheds some really disturbing light on how Homeworld treats its residents...

It Could've Been Great

  • Peridot hits the Crystal Gems' Berserk Button HARD when she speaks about Rose Quartz's rebellion being futile and only delaying the inevitable. Garnet's Tranquil Fury reaction in particular; she grabs Peridot by the shirt front, hoists her up to eye level, and summons a gauntlet while telling her how she's talking about things she doesn't understand. Garnet might have poofed her again before Steven convinces her Peridot's Not Worth Killing.
  • The Diamond's plans for Earth can qualify as this. We see a hologram of an Earth consisting of only important Gem structures, with almost all of the planet except for the parts of the crust holding Gem structures destroyed. Made much worse by Peridot gushing over the hologram of the desiccated husk of a planet, calling it "perfect", saying how great it would have been if the colony had been completed, even calling the Crystal Gems crazy for trying to stop it!

Message Received

  • Yellow Diamond finally appears, and she makes full use of her screentime to showcase just how cold, unfeeling and horrifying a villain she is.
    Yellow Diamond: I don't care about "potential" and "resources". I want my Cluster, and I want that planet to die. (...) You are to leave the Cluster to grow; it will tear apart the Earth, and I will take immense satisfaction in erasing that hideous rock off of our star maps! IS THAT CLEAR!?
    • And rather than the cool, calculating and brutally pragmatic overlord so many Gems thought her to be, Yellow Diamond is instead a deeply spiteful and glacier-cold being that would rather disregard potential gains for the sake of pride. The Cluster almost seems like a second thought to the goal of destroying something that offends her. And she almost immediately tries to kill Peridot for her insolence. While cold and terrifying, she's also contemptuous and petty. In some ways, this actually makes her more terrifying than if she truly was simply ruthlessly efficient and imperialistic. What's scary is that it seems more then just being spiteful. She's more vindictive in her tone and mannerism about Earth. It's very obvious that she wants her revenge on the Crystal Gems, and was willing to wait millennia for the perfect way to happen; Letting the planet explode from underneath their feet, with no clue what's happening or how to stop it.
  • Yellow Diamond's Pearl, because of how she contrasts sharply with Crystal Gem Pearl and how the latter could have turned out differently. She is also a stickler for rules, but her few scenes show her devoid of Crystal Gem Pearl's compassion or motherly tendencies, and she gives an outright Psychotic Smirk as Yellow Diamond approaches Peridot.
  • When Peridot declares that Earth is filled with life, Yellow Diamond corrects her by stating "organic life." This small detail shows just how much hatred Yellow Diamond has for anything not a Gem, and how she regards the lives of others just by categorizing them by their species.
  • Though she actually has good intentions in doing so, Peridot's giggling and expression when she contacts Yellow Diamond are unnerving, to say the least. It really hammers in the Sanity Slippage she's been undergoing as a result of being torn between the Crystal Gems and her superiors. Not to mention the way she talks about Yellow Diamond to Steven - it quickly goes from just gushing about her flawlessness to a desperate insistence that their survival only hinges on whether or not she finds them worthwhile, as if Peridot had been brainwashed by a cult or something.
  • If you're totally used to the more cutesy art, the exaggerated character designs (God, those bulging eyeballs!) in this episode can unnerve you. I mean, just look at Yellow Diamond's angry face!

Log Date 7-15-2

  • Peridot's nervous breakdown at the beginning of the episode is incredibly disturbing.
  • Garnet and Peridot's near-fusion dance. At this point, Garnet is the only Crystal Gem Peridot has yet to become comfortable around. Homeworld's prejudices against fusion aside, she doesn't like her, understand her, or feel safe around her — but suddenly, Garnet's proposing something very intimate, and Peridot's consent is not enthusiastic. At no point does her body language reflect anything approaching comfort, and while Garnet stops as soon as she gets a firm "no", their dance mostly involves her dragging Peridot around by the hands and locking her arms around her throat, telling her to "get ready." It's a very out-of-character moment for Garnet, and deeply uncomfortable- and the worst part is, given her character, she probably had pure intentions in mind.

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